Welcome to the final #AKPumpkinWeek! It’s bittersweet, but after years of doing this, I’ve decided that pumpkin week has ultimately run its course. Don’t worry, I’ll still drop a pumpkin recipe here and there every year, and you can find all of my other fabulous pumpkin recipes here — everything from pastas and curries to muffins and cookies!
Of course, pumpkin week really wouldn’t be the same without a recipe from the muffin queen herself (AKA YOURS TRULY).
So, we’re kicking this week off with these gorgeous orange pumpkin muffins that are infused with brown butter, honey, pumpkin pie spices and finished off with an orange glaze. They’re exceptional and the ultimate treat to serve for brunch, or to just keep on hand when you need a snack.
Ingredients in orange pumpkin muffins
- Butter: in this recipe we’re browning some butter to make the muffins extra incredible. Feel free to use vegan butter or keep them dairy free by using coconut oil or light extra virgin olive oil.
- Pumpkin puree: you can use canned pumpkin puree or make your own using this tutorial! Or feel free to use butternut squash puree!
- Eggs: you’ll need 2 eggs in this recipe to keep the muffins fluffy. I have not tested them with flax eggs but let me know if you do!
- Honey: these pumpkin orange muffins are naturally sweetened with honey. You can also use pure maple syrup if you’d like.
- Orange juice & zest: we’re infusing these muffins with freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for that ultimate orange flavor. Remember to zest your oranges before squeezing them!
- Vanilla extract: for a little boost of flavor.
- Whole wheat pastry flour: using whole wheat pastry flour gives these muffins the perfect texture. You can also use white whole wheat flour or a ratio of ¾ cup whole wheat flour + 1 cup all purpose flour. See notes below for tips on trying gluten free flours.
- Baking soda & salt: so that these muffins bake up properly.
- Pumpkin spices: gotta have all of those cozy spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger & allspice.
- Optional: I love adding some dark chocolate chips to these muffins for an out-of-this-world flavor. Feel free to use any chocolate chips you’d like (or simply omit).
- For the glaze: the easy orange glaze is made with powdered sugar, orange juice & orange zest.
Customize these orange pumpkin muffins
- To make dairy free: feel free to use coconut oil, light extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter instead of butter.
- To make gluten free: I think a 1:1 gf all purpose flour would work well in these muffins. You may need to add a splash of milk to the batter if it feels stiff, as gluten free flours can sometimes be a little more dry. I also think that chickpea flour would work well, or possibly oat flour. Please know I have not tested these options, they are just suggestions!
- To make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins: Feel free to mix in ½ cup your favorite chocolate chips into the batter. I think dark chocolate chips would be amazing.
- More optional add-ins: these would be delicious with 1/2 cup chopped pecans or 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
How to brown butter
- Add butter to a saucepan and place over medium high heat. The butter will begin to crackle and then after a couple minutes, foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process.
- After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma.
- Immediately transfer the butter to a medium bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to touch.
Tips for making healthy orange pumpkin muffins
- Follow the recipe. The best way to ensure the success of these easy pumpkin orange muffins is to follow the recipe and use the exact ingredients as written (unless I note specific substitutes).
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. If your eggs are too cold you risk the butter coagulating. To bring your eggs to room temp, simply place them in a bowl of warm water for 3-5 minutes before you use them.
- Do not overmix the batter. If you overmix batter you’ll end up with muffins that are more dense and gummy instead of fluffy and soft.
- Use fresh baking soda. If your baking soda is older than 3 months, I suggest grabbing a new one for best baking results.
Freezer-friendly pumpkin orange muffins
These healthy pumpkin orange muffins are freezer-friendly! Simply wrap muffins individually in freezer-safe bags or store them in a large freezer bag. When you’re ready to enjoy them, reheat for 30-45 seconds in the microwave or simply thaw them at room temperature.
More pumpkin recipes to try
I hope you love these amazing brown butter pumpkin orange muffins! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Orange Muffins with Orange Glaze
Gorgeous brown butter pumpkin orange muffins with a luscious orange glaze. These healthy pumpkin orange muffins are naturally sweetened with fresh orange juice and a touch of honey and have plenty of cozy pumpkin spices. Option to add chocolate chips for an even more decadent treat!
- For the wet ingredients:
- 1/3 cup butter*
- 1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup honey (or sub pure maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Zest from 2 large oranges
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the dry ingredients:
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour**
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (or your favorite chocolate chips)
- For the glaze:
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons orange juice, plus more to thin if necessary
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners and spray the inside of the liners with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
*Brown your butter. Add butter to a saucepan and place over medium high heat. The butter will begin to crackle and then after a couple minutes, foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a medium bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to touch.
In a large bowl, add the pumpkin puree, eggs, honey, orange juice and zest, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the cooled brown butter and mix until batter is just combined. Divide batter evenly between the muffin liners.
Bake for 23-27 minutes or until the tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the orange glaze: in a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon orange juice and zest smooth. Add more orange juice to thin glaze if necessary, but you do want it thick. Spoon about ½ tablespoon glaze onto each muffin or dip muffin tops into the bowl. Place on a wire rack to set the glaze. Enjoy! Makes 12 muffins.
**If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour, you can mix 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour together.
To make dairy free: feel free to use coconut oil, light extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter instead of butter.
To make gluten free: I think a 1:1 gf all purpose flour would work well in these muffins. You may need to add a splash of milk to the batter if it feels stiff, as gluten free flours can sometimes be a little more dry. I also think that chickpea flour would work well or potentially oat flour.
To make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins: Feel free to mix in ½ cup your favorite chocolate chips into the batter.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats